Having a rough start with Filemaker and wish to start over. Is it possible to completely obliterate the database, not simply the records within it?
send to trash and empty? (make sure it's closed first)
you may wish to keep it for reference, tho.
I too had a rough start. One thing I had difficulties wrapping my head around is that the file is the database. The other thing I had trouble with was understanding what layouts are and how to use them. They are your GUI's. They can be hidden or displayed. When you create a database and or a database table a layout is auto generated for that table.
My head is much better now.
a database is tables and records with values.
The layouts and scripting are just ways to interact with the data.
Only way to do what you ask is export the data and delete the tables.
If you delete the .fmp12 file everything is gone.
Don't delete it, just start a new one. An FM file can be deleted at OS level just as any other file can, so throw it away if you want to (the digital equivalent of screwing up the letter you just wrote and throwing it in the bin). But just in case you later discover you did SOMETHING right, why not file it away in a "ready to discard" folder (where it's still there just in case …).
Similarly, you can delete an entire table within a database, but again I'd be inclined to leave it in place just so you can revisit it if needed.
With both the above, one of the ways you might want to revisit is because down the track a bit you might have forgotten the nature of what you previously did which, right now, you know was an ugly mistake.
Good points. The original data, on an excel spreadsheet, is intact. I realize now that the better way to proceed is to clean up the spreadsheet before importing it, and align the field definitions at the outset.
Do I understand correctly that the database is, in fact, a single file loaded with tons of records with field definitions, and this one file is what we use to generate tables?
a database is a 'file' with one or more tables (in reality it can have NO tables, but what good would that be?)
you can have a solution with one or more database (db) file(s).
if you are importing from Excel, likely each Worksheet (in the Workbook) would be a separate table. You can 'create' the tables as you import. See the import dialog for the option.
Cleaning up Excel pre-import is a good decision, although the data can be cleaned after import as well. I may have 'temporary' tables for such import and then create the 'good tables' and bring in cleaned data from the temp table(s). It may depend on your Excel skills and/or FileMaker functions skills on where the data is "cleaned".
These may be helpful
Relational Database Design 101 (part 1 of 3): Designing a Flat File Database
Relational Database Design 101 (part 2 of 3)
Relational Database Design 101 (part 3 of 3)
White Paper for FMP Novices
Retrieving data ...